Friday, April 29

MEET PRINTMAKER AMOS KENNEDY


Amos.jpg (502×347)

Amos Kennedy lives and works in Gordo, Alabama. His fleet of printing presses (he has eight) takes up most of the space in his studio. Ink, paper, completed prints, and thousands of printing blocks compete for the rest of the space. Printing is, according to Mr. Kennedy, "the people's art" because it is both accessible and affordable. Every print, whether for sale or discarded for scrap, is saturated with both color and wit.

Get acquainted with Amos Kennedy and his art.


Thursday, April 28

STORMS RAVAGE OUR REGION + HOW TO HELP

What's left of the Milo's in Tuscaloosa, AL. Photo via Jason Clark/Facebook.

Our entire region was ravaged by epic storms this week, but our friends in Alabama were hit especially hard. The photo above is a document of what's left of the Milo's restaurant (an Alabama-born burger chain famous for its sweet tea) on McFarland Blvd. in Tuscaloosa.

Our friend Drew Robinson of Jim 'N Nick's in Birmingham is posting on EATocracy to share information on how to help people in Alabama and the rest of the region.

The American Red Cross is a good and trusted organization to direct donations to, if you're so inclined.

Our thoughts are will all of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues across the South.

HERITAGE GRAINS: THE CAROLINA-ARIZONA CONNECTION

Our compatriots, Sabores Sin Fronteras, out in Arizona, are staging a Tucson event in which Southerners might take interest.

Saturday, April 30, from 10-11:30 a.m: Heritage Wheat and Corn Grinding Event with Glenn Roberts, Jeff Zimmerman, and Gary Nabhan at Native Seeds/SEARCH Retail Store, 3061 N. Campbell Avenue, Tucson.


Glenn is the founder of Anson Mills in Columbia, S.C. and a driving force in bringing back Southern heritage corn. Jeff is restarting the historic Hayden Flour Mills in Tempe, Arizona, and is working with Native Seed Search to reintroduce heritage wheat and corn as local food crops for Arizona. Gary is, among other things, a leader of Sabores.

Tuesday, April 26

A SOUTHERN HUMMUS


While Foreign Policy magazine chronicles the Arab-Israeli conflict over who can produce the world's largest batch of hummus, here in the American South chef Hugh Acheson is making a distinctly Southern style hummus in smaller batches. It's made from boiled peanuts. And it's just one more example of how food--and our adaptations of it--explain who we are. Recipe here.

Monday, April 25

SERIOUS EATS COOKS FROM THE SFA COMMUNITY COOKBOOK

All this week, the folks at Serious Eats will be making dishes from the SFA Community Cookbook. From the Serious Eats website:
This week we'll be dishing up Southern classics including fluffy and foolproof Angel Biscuits, curious Mississippi Delta Hot TamalesFried Chicken with New Orleans Confetti topped with a shower of dill pickles, and ending up with a Sweet Tea Lemon Chess Pie.
Visit SeriousEats.com for more info and a chance to win your own copy of the SFA Community Cookbook.

Saturday, April 23

SFA STYLES AND SLOGANS

The SFA is a slogan-rich organization. We pledge allegiance to Cornbread Nation. We claim citizenship in the Banana Pudding Republic. Rather than make war, we make cornbread. That last one attains fullest flower of expression in the hats and shirts that Billy Reid makes for us -- and for anyone else who similarly inclined.

Above, is the latest SFA member to the sloganize, a scion of the Van Winkle family of Louisville.

Thursday, April 21

SFA OFFERS MINORITY SCHOLARSHIP FOR ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP

May 23-27, the Southern Foodways Alliance at the University of Mississippi will host a week-long oral history workshop. The workshop meets the needs of SFA collaborators in foodways fieldwork.

A minority scholarship for the 2011 Oral History Workshop is available. The scholarship will pay tuition, and a minority scholar will receive up to $500 that may be used for expenses related to travel, lodging, and meals.

Applicants should be full-time students with a strong interest in documentary studies, especially as they relate to foodways. Please submit a letter of interest, as well as one letter of recommendation, to Amy Evans Streeter at acevans@olemiss.edu, to be considered for the scholarship.

Deadline for submissions is MAY 6, 2011.

***

GATHERING THE STORIES BEHIND THE FOOD:
AN ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP
MAY 23-27, 2011
SOUTHERN FOODWAYS ALLIANCE
CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF SOUTHERN CULTURE
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI 
DIRECTED BY AMY EVANS STREETER, SFA ORAL HISTORIAN

This workshop is an introduction to SFA-devised oral history methods and practices. The focus will be on digital audio and still photographs, applied to the study of foodways. Workshop participants will be introduced to a variety of fieldwork projects, become familiar with equipment, acquire interviewing techniques, and learn how to process their work.  Participants will conduct their own short interviews, time permitting.

***

Please direct questions to Amy Evans Streeter, (662) 915-5993 or acevans@olemiss.edu

Wednesday, April 20

LUSCO'S IN GREENWOOD, MS, CELEBRATES 78 YEARS IN BUSINESS

Lusco's by Amy Evans Streeter, 2003

In 1933, Sicilian immigrants Charles and Marie Lusco opened a small grocery store in Greenwood, Mississippi. The store evolved into a restaurant that quickly gained a reputation as the place for the Delta gentry to get fresh fish, great steaks, and a dose of Charles Lusco’s homemade wine served to them in the privacy of curtained booths. 

This year, Andy and Karen Pinkston, the fourth generation of the family to run the restaurant, celebrate Lusco's 78th year in business in the same great building on Carrollton Ave. Recently, they featured some Lusco family recipes as specials: spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli, and eggplant romano. Of course you can still get their famous pompano, broiled shrimp, and homemade onion rings.

We documented Lusco's in 2003 as part of our Greenwood Restaurants project, one of our very first formal oral history efforts. After watching so many family-owned restaurants close their doors in the intervening years, we're glad to help Lusco's, our Delta neighbor, celebrate almost eight decades in business.

Tuesday, April 19

IS COKE'S RECIPE STILL A SECRET?

Photo courtesy of FlickR.
According to This American Life, a program on National Public Radio, today's Coca-Cola recipe may still be well-guarded, but an original recipe--possibly developed by John Pemberton--has been discovered. The recipe, found in two different notebooks (one belonging to Pemberton, another to his friend) was published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution back in 1979.

This year, as Coke celebrates its 125th anniversary, perhaps you'd like to mix up your own batch and taste for yourself to determine if they've found a precursor to today's Coke recipe? Here are the instructions. And click here to link to the original radio show about the mystery recipe.

Friday, April 15

DEVILED EGGS













Deviled Egg Season Commences!

It's finally spring which means deviled egg season is upon us. Luckily, it's a long season starting about now and stretching through New Year's Eve.

Joe and Heidi Trull came to Potlikker Greenville last week toting platter after glorious platter of deviled eggs. Every single egg was gone in 45 minutes. And, trust us, they made plenty. There's just something about the deviled egg that triggers an equal mix of anxiety and hoarding among the faithful.

Dig into the SFA's first (and only) Deviled Egg Invitational On-line Cookbook and make yourself a batch. For dessert, more deviled eggs, of course! Hurry before the season ends!!!


Wednesday, April 13

NEW BBQ EXHIBIT OPENS @ SoFAB IN NEW ORLEANS THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 15

Spooney's Bar-Be-Que in Greenwood, MS
by Amy Evans Streeter for the SFA's Southern BBQ Trail

***
A new barbecue exhibit opens at the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB) in New Orleans this weekend: "Barbecue Nation". From the SoFAB website:

"Barbecue Nation" examines one of the South’s favorite pastimes in all of its glory. From the backyard barbecue pit to the competition circuit, Barbecue Nation gives us a glimpse at the many faces of this southern artform. Visitors will learn about the many regional variations, the fast-growing sport of competition barbecue and the continuation of a White House barbecue tradition. Refreshments, including barbecue from Squeal Bar-B-Q, will be available.

The SFA shared a handful of photographs that will be included in the exhibit.

Barbecue Nation open this Friday, April 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Visit the SoFAB website for more info.

POTLIKKER GREENVILLE & GEORGE SINGLETON


If you didn't make it to the Potlikker Film Festival in Greenville, then you didn't get the pleasure of hearing George Singleton give his hangover cure. We are sharing it here for all to enjoy. You may not be brave enough to try the cure, but you'd be crazy not to read it. Thanks again, George, for being a part of the Festival!

An Ode to Hangover Cures*
George Singleton

Hangover theorists—evidently there are but a few professionally, but a whole crash of them working nonstop on an amateur basis—don't talk much about congeners and cytokines, at least not publicly. But anyone who has ever ingested more than 1.5 ounces of good bourbon per hour knows that he or she will suffer the classic symptoms right about daybreak: inflammation of the head, queasy stomach, and slight tremulousness. Personally, I don't get that 1.5 ounces per hour quota. Did a scientist make a typo? Did Dr. Moderation really mean 5.1 ounces per hour?

Here in South Carolina, where the hangovers come quickly and often, the cures are mind-numbing and questionable. Every good booze glutton has probably tried the standbys: two gallons of water, enough Goody's Powder sleeves to construct a life- size origami swan, Krystal hamburgers, hair of the dog, and a slew of over-the-counter, sure-fire remedies usually sold next to condoms, batteries, playing cards, and scratch tickets at the local convenience store.

What I suggest may only work for me, but it works. Without trudging through a stream of techno-medical babble involving dilated blood vessels and acetaldehyde, let me leave you with these words: embrace the endorphin-inducing hot peppers.

In the past-yeah, yeah, yeah, I just went through rehab, so trust me that I'm clear- headed and slightly rational on the following recipe—I started many a day with what I called Poor Man's Pate Surprise. I minced a can of Vienna sausages as fine as possible (a blender would work best, but remember, the damn noise could kill you) and threw them into a blue-speckled, enamelware mixing bowl. Then, recklessly and without rubber gloves, I minced one medium jalapeno and one orange habanero, then threw them on top of the Viennas, seeds and all. During particularly vile, rabid, tenacious hangovers, I always hoped that the pepper seeds would lodge in my intestinal tract, cause diverticulitis, and kill me.

Then I added about two tablespoons of mayo, two squirts of yellow mustard, and a couple teaspoons of sweet-pickle relish. I hand-whipped the concoction with a wooden spoon and served it atop saltine crackers, or between two slices of white Sunbeam bread. I never officially recorded the outcome, but it seemed as if my hands would start burning uncontrollably about the same time that I could see again through the tears. Granted, my hangover remedy might be on the same level as a guy who bangs his thumb with a hammer so he forgets about his gout, but what the hell. By the time I knew what was going on, my headache had disappeared.

I should also add to any animal lovers out there that my Poor Man's Pate Surprise, minus the peppers, has cured more than a few of my dogs when they scrawnied away during hot summer months and wouldn't eat regular chow.

I discovered another hangover cure that might work best for upwardly mobile people living in nice neighborhoods without a Vienna sausage aisle in their grocery store.

Take two catfish fillets and place them in a shallow, buttered, borosilicate glass pan, better known as Pyrex cookware. Sprinkle grated cheese on the fish. Cover the cheese with, again, diced jalapenos and habaneras. Cover the peppers with bread crumbs, then another layer of fillets.

Sometimes I grated more cheese—I preferred hoop cheese, but I'm sure some kind of high-priced and fancy Havarti, Gouda, or Edam might work—and added more bread crumbs. I baked the catfish at around 400 degrees for maybe fifteen minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Then I pulled out the pan and carefully drained into a mixing bowl the fish water that had mysteriously accumulated.

It was important to keep the fish water, as I'll explain later.

Then I slid the pan back in the oven for about another five minutes. During this time, I made not-from-scratch hollandaise sauce, which I drizzled over the fish loaf after it cooled somewhat. Now, I'll admit, sometimes this particular hangover cure didn't quite work. For the most part—minus the butter, cheese, and hollandaise sauce—it seemed about as healthy as a shot of B12. If my hangover didn't go away by the time I finished off about a four-by-four-inch square, there was one more step.

I went back to my pantry—or closet, file cabinet, Charles Chips canister, suitcase, roof gutter, dog-food bin, bookcase, etc.—pulled out a bottle of vodka or bourbon, poured about a jigger into the cooling fish water, and chugged it down. A little hair of the dog and scale of the cat pretty much relieved me of any discomfort. This little step works amazingly well for those who suffer from upset stomachs.

Let me reiterate that I only speak of what worked for me. I have no scientific evidence, but it seems to me that the blood vessels may actually constrict, despite the theories, and if so, there's nothing like a good, fatty Vienna sausage to ramrod those veins back into viable thoroughfares. The hot peppers, I'm certain, send out endorphins so fast that even a broken hip might feel like nothing more than a pulled groin.

Oddly, since the rehab stint, I've noticed how my knees, lower back, neck, and temples hurt pretty much continuously. I'm thinking that I might should go back to my old midmorning ways, pop those Vienna tops more often, and dice peppers like there's no tomorrow.


*This Ode appeared in The Oxford American, Spring 2005, Issue 49.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: 2012 SOUTHERN CULTURES FOOD ISSUE

Southern Cultures is accepting submissions for their 2012 special issue devoted entirely to Food, from now through July 14, 2011.

During the past year, over 40,000 people have read Southern Cultures in print, accessed content online, and downloaded the eBooks--including students and scholars in 66 countries. You can browse the last special Food issue-and the rest of their content on Food from the past decade here.

To read the current issue, access the submission guidelines and content in many other subject areas, and find more information, please visit www.SouthernCultures.org.

Tuesday, April 12

POTLIKKER FILM FEST: GREENVILLE

Thanks to everyone who joined the SFA at Greenville's Potlikker Film Fest! (For a reminder of the lineup, click here.) Here are a few photos from the festivities. And for more photos, visit FlickR.

Jordan and Kevin Johnson from OJ's Diner.
They provided potlikker shots and sweet potato cobbler.

Heidi and Joe Trull from Grits and Groceries. Yes, those are deviled eggs you see.

The Mac Arnold Band provided music for the evening.

Monday, April 11

SFA FIELD TRIP, JUNE 23-25, ONLINE NOW

The SFA is headed to Cajun Country this June.
Click here to see details about the trip and register online.
Registration is limited to 100 attendees.

CAJUN COUNTRY FIELD TRIP PREVIEW


This year's SFA field trip is a ramble through Cajun Country. We'll meander down blacktop back roads, through dog-in-the-road towns. To meat markets that sell liver-flecked boudin and crawfish boiling points where the tables are draped in newspaper. And we'll celebrate the tradition of Creole lunch houses in Acadiana.

SFA oral historians Sara Roahen and Rien Fertel have spent the past few months in the field, documenting these Creole plate lunch joints. The oral history interviews they collected will be featured online soon, and we'll celebrate the proprietors during the field trip. But right now, we're giving you a taste of what lies ahead: the slideshow above is from Rien Fertel's interview with Merline Hebert of the Creole Lunch House in Lafayette, LA.

Our Cajun Country Ramble field trip is June 23-15. Go here for more info and to purchase tickets.

Grab a napkin and go!

Wednesday, April 6

OKRACAST: EDNA STEWART

Edna Stewart, 2008. Photo by Amy Evans Streeter. 

In 2008 Amy Evans Streeter visited Edna Stewart, proprietor of one of the city's iconic soul food establishments, Edna's.

Edna Stewart's parents were sharecroppers in Covington, Tennessee, until they moved to Chicago in 1936. Edna was born two years later. As a young woman, Edna went to nursing school. But in 1966 Edna's father, Samuel Mitchell Sr., decided that he wanted to go into the restaurant business. All he needed was a cook. So Edna and her then-husband went into business with her father and opened Edna's Restaurant. Edna learned to cook from her Tennessee-born mother so her menu was soul food, pure and simple. She fed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Jesse Jackson. The restaurant survived the 1968 riots. Yet, it nearly didn't survive its owner's passing. Shortly after Edna Stewart died in June of 2010, her landmark restaurant closed its doors. But thanks to her longtime manager/chef and one of her former produce suppliers, Edna's reopened as Ruby's less than a year later. Little besides the name is different at this West Side institution.

This is a special Chicago Eats edition of Okracast.

Grab some headphones and go!

Tuesday, April 5

GUS KOUTROULAKIS, OF PETE'S FAMOUS IN B'HAM, PASSES


The SFA is sad to share news that Gus Koutroulakis, the icon of the iconic Pete's Famous Hot Dogs in Birmingham, Alabama, passed away this morning, April 5, 2011. A wonderful story on Gus's life and work can be found on the Birmingham News website.

We are fortunate to have interviewed Gus in 2004, as part of our Greeks in Birmingham oral history project. And there's also a wonderful film, Hotdogopolis, by Eric Feldman and Leyla Modirzadeh, where you can see Gus in action and learn about Birmingham's hot dog history.

It's too early to know of the fate of Pete's Famous, but we will certainly keep you posted.

Gus, you will be sorely missed by many.

Friday, April 1

THE DEADLIEST THROW


Smoked, broiled, baked, fried, or tossed. Friday April, 29 marks the first day of the 27th Annual Interstate Mullet Toss, held each year at The Flora-Bama Lounge. If you can't make it to the Alabama Gulf Coast this spring, don't worry. Joe York's latest film, "The Deadliest Throw" gives you a front row seat to the greatest amateur sporting event in the South.

The film will premiere on the big screen at the Florida Film Festival next weekend.